Two-Thirds of PA Arabs Support Al Qaeda Attacks

A Norwegian poll reveals that two-thirds of Palestinian Authority Arabs support Al Qaeda terrorist attacks, and 50 percent back suicide bombings.<BR><br/>

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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 20:22

The poll, which was originally not reported in Israel, was carried out by Fafo, an independent Norwegian research foundation that receives donations for Norway's trade union and Norwegian corporations.

Fafo headlined its press release by stating, "Palestinians support the cease-fire, but actions against Israel [are] still seen as legitimate."

However, the survey results buried toward the bottom of the release state, "Sixty-nine percent of Palestinians see violent action as a legitimate means in the current political situation and half of them believe that suicide attacks are necessary to force Israel to make political concessions."

The last survey figure shows that 65 percent of the respondents support Al Qaeda terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States, both of which recently have increased financial aid to the PA.

The respondents, while supporting the terrorist attacks, contradicted themselves, with 57 percent believing the Intifada should stop. In addition, 83 percent stated it is in their best interest to keep the "ceasefire" decided upon earlier this year. According to the pact, the PA was to stop incitement and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, while Israel promised to withdraw from Arab urban centers and release 900 prisoners, including jailed terrorists.

Shortly after the agreement, the Sharon government released the prisoners on provision that they do not engage in terrorist activities, but several have since been involved in terrorist attacks. The IDF has withdrawn from Jericho, east of Jerusalem, and in Tul Karem, in Samaria, where it has returned several times following suicide bombings and terrorist attacks. Incitement in the PA has reached record highs instead of coming to a halt.

Another result of the Fafo survey reveals that only 35 percent of Arabs in Judea and Samaria feel more secure following the IDF withdrawal from the Gaza and northern Samaria regions, which followed the expulsion of Jewish residents in the areas and the destruction of their homes. Only 42 percent reported an improvement in their economic situation. Results from the Gaza area were the opposite.

Contradictions also were evident in opinions of the PA, with a majority thinking their government is doing a good job, but with less than one quarter expressing confidence in the PA.

An overwhelming majority wants the legislative elections to take place as scheduled on January 25, with 38 percent saying they will vote for Fatah and only 17 percent for Hamas. Other opinion polls have showed far higher support of Hamas, which recently swept several municipal elections in Samaria.